2276 Tasting Notes

94
drank Toasted Walnut by DAVIDsTEA
2276 tasting notes

Has it really been two months since I last drank this one?? Maybe I’m just confused because I’ve sent it off in a bunch of swaps :P

It’s oddly cloudy today. Tastes alright, but not sure what’s going on. Strange. Perhaps should blame workplace water.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec
CHAroma

Workplace water has ruined more than one tea for me in the past.

Indigobloom

I’ve never tried it but I hear a pinch of baking soda/powder helps with the cloudiness

ScottTeaMan

Doesn’t it ruin the tea?? The baking soda??

Missy

I’ve never had a problem with it ruining the tea. It’s quite literally a pinch. I use a minuscule amount in my 66 ounce pitcher for iced tea. No ever seems to notice.

Missy

one^ le sigh I haven’t had enough tea yet this morning.

Kittenna

Hmm, maybe I should give that a shot.

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85
drank Glitter & Gold by DAVIDsTEA
2276 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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67
drank Mango Lassi by Butiki Teas
2276 tasting notes

Odd, so the smell of this one steeped is absolutely screaming fresh, slightly underripe banana to me. Which is delicious, but not mango lassi. Admittedly, that’s the association I’m making with the flavour as well. I’m getting maybe a touch, oh yes, there it is, of cardamom, and lots of banana flavour. The rooibos is present but not overwhelmingly obvious, which is definitely a bonus.

I saw some mango chunks in the dry tea – maybe I missed getting one into my cup. Either way, I have lots left to try again and tease out a more mango-y flavour!

Preparation
Boiling

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67
drank Exotic Pear by Butiki Teas
2276 tasting notes

Thanks to Stacy of Butiki Teas for sending a sample pack of this tea (and a few others!) along with my recent order. Great to try some teas that I’ve been eyeing but have been wary of due to ingredients (e.g. this one has star anise, but I’m looking for a great pear tea!)

Steeped, the tea smells… perfumey. Not really all that pear-y. It tastes similar, in my opinion. There’s some flavour, but it’s not terribly strong, nor does it taste how I expected. Certainly not objectionable, but just a flavour I’m completely indifferent to. I can maybe taste a hint of the star anise, and it’s not bothersome, but to me personally, there’s nothing terribly special about it. (On the positive side, at least I don’t feel like I lost out by not ordering a pouch of this one!)

ETA: 180F/far too long – Eep, I’m smelling the licorice/anise now. Oh yuck… that is pretty much all I taste. Down the drain you go. Definitely not regretting only getting a sample of this one. And I’m very thankful the sample was just one cup’s worth, so I don’t have a bunch left to feel guilty about!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

I wasn’t a big fan of this one either although it isn’t bad, just not that interesting.

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68
drank Raspberry Truffle by Butiki Teas
2276 tasting notes

Wow, does this tea ever look wonderful in the bag! Huge pieces of dried raspberry, lots of chocolate… mmmmm.

Steeped, it smells like a chocolatey black tea. I’m really hoping the raspberry comes out, because I’m not getting too much in the aroma!

..oh man! This is good! I can definitely taste both raspberry and chocolate, although neither is overpowering, and I can taste a great, just slightly astringent black base supporting both flavours. It’s also almost… creamy, in a sense, which helps reduce the tiny bit of astringency. I wish I could taste a touch more raspberry, but I have to say that this is far beyond the similar chocolate/fruit flavoured blacks from DavidsTea. Really delicious. I’m not hugely into these sort of flavoured teas for the everyday, so probably won’t pick any up, but would definitely recommend this to to those who like to start off (or end) their day with a fruity, chocolatey, delicious tea.

Thanks again to Stacy for this sample!

ETA: Re-steep is very light. No astringency, but perhaps a longer infusion would be better. There are some cocoa notes and a hint of raspberry, but that’s it. Still will finish it, however.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I love the fact that Stacy doesn’t make her flavored tea’s really artificial tasting and uses lots of Organic and natural ingredients as much as she can. Make a more subtle but better tasting tea to me.

Kittenna

I agree. It didn’t come off as artificial, which perhaps was one of the reasons I liked it more. I also quite enjoy being able to taste the tea behind the flavourings!

ScottTeaMan

Aaahhhh, raspberry truffle…….now there’s a tea I’d probabbly like. :))

Butiki Teas

I’m really picky about the ingredients that go into the teas. I make sure there are no preservatives or added sugars (except the chocolate chips which have added sugar) and the flavorings have to be natural and vegan and I try to find organic ingredients when possible. It can be quite a challenge.

Kittenna

You’ve clearly been successful though! :D

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77
drank Butter Truffles by The Tea Table
2276 tasting notes

This is the first sample of a few very generous ones sent to me by Amy oh! I was super curious about this different-sounding tea. And the potential that it tastes like an Indian dessert? I’m in!

The dry tea definitely smells weird. Not off-putting weird, like the Pina Colada I had from Adagio, just an unconventional sort of weird. Spicy-ish and spiced, and I could perhaps liken it to a spiced dessert. I’m really not sure what all I’m smelling. Steeped, I’m getting a spiced baked goodsy sort of aroma.

Woah, so interesting! Butter truffles? I think not. Interestingly savoury-spicy tea? Definitely! I can pick out the pepper and coriander, mainly, and am getting a buttery creaminess at the end of the sip which is quite nice. This tea really throws you for a loop though, being so savoury. I’m reminded of Verdant’s Elderberry Pu’er that I drank a couple days ago. Not necessarily due to flavour similarity, just due to the savoury flavours one wouldn’t necessarily associate with tea. I can also taste the black tea base in the background and it’s pretty good.

Overall definitely worth a cup, and I’ll probably drink it again a few times (Amy sent a ton! :P) Thanks again for the sample!

ETA: Second infusion is definitely more spice than tea. Probably not worth it (although the spicing is the same, it needs more of the base IMO).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I agree it’s odd… :)

Kittenna

Odd yet I quickly finished my cup of it… I think it’s grown on me a little. I am so thoroughly confused as to why on earth it would be called butter truffles though! It was neither chocolatey nor mushroomy, in my opinion…

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84
drank Tropicalia by DAVIDsTEA
2276 tasting notes

Cold-brewed 10g of this in about 500mL of water, and it’s pretty good (but could be a bit stronger). This works out to $1.20 per “cup”, which I suppose is rather expensive… oh well! I also discovered that I should have mixed it, as it was sweeter at the bottom than the top (I cold-brew in a cup and then pour through a strainer.) Whoops :D

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Lynne-tea

Whoa that’s is kind of expensive.. I was thinking about getting 100 g of it… Who am I kidding I probably will, but still. Thank you for the heads up about it!

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84
drank Purple Tea of Kenya by Butiki Teas
2276 tasting notes

Darn… computer died and I lost the tasting note I’d written up.

Anyways, I picked this tea up as part of the ‘Explore Kenya’ sampler pack, which I bought on a whim – my Masters project is focused on health-beneficial phytochemicals in asparagus, which include flavonoids (which is what the anthocyanins that make this tea purple are a subset of), so ever since I began my project my interest in foods containing such things has been piqued.

Visually, this tea didn’t look particularly purple to me – it looked more blackish. I’ll have to look more closely under better lighting though. The steep temperature seemed awfully low, but I went with it, and stuck to the lower end of the time range, which gave me a cup of lightish yellow/amber liquor (that’s the best I can do – it’s in a green cup!).

It tastes much like green tea to me, with a bit of an mild astringency showing up briefly (but it’s very mild). It’s a touch sweet, and has a definite tea aftertaste, kind of green/oolongy (like I said in a previous post – perhaps they’re actually all the same, and I just associate it with the tea I’m drinking at the time!) Good, certainly, but nothing particularly special. I would have been more intrigued if the liquor had come out purple :D However, I would love to know if there’s a greater health benefit associated with drinking this tea… one of the professors on my advisory committee did some research on antioxidants in green tea; maybe I should look things up/ask him!

ETA: 175F/way too long, for the second infusion. Tastes… rather like a black tea, actually. Can’t believe that it’s so lacking in astringency though, given that it seriously must have steeped for about 10 minutes or more. There’s some but it’s quite bearable. I will have to try a proper second (third, fourth?) infusion the next time.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Butiki Teas

Krystalen-Give this tea a try at boiling water and a 5 minute steep (still 1/2 teaspoon). Completely different notes but very interesting. I find at the 160 F temp it tastes like a green, at 180 F tastes more like an oolong and at the 212 F range it tastes more like a black tea. Pretty versatile. I’ve heard claims that there is a much higher count of antioxidants in this tea but have not seen any test results yet.

Bonnie

I noticed that there is a rim hue…like something you see with wine. The tea is not colored (the leaves might be why the tea is called purple…I have no idea) but there was a blush at the edge that I noticed with mine that reminded me of what you see in older and newer wines being browner or pink/purpler.

Kittenna

Stacy – I will definitely try that! Always curious :D And I have lots to play with. I definitely was getting both oolong and green “vibes” from it earlier, and the re-steep leaned towards a black, so I’m quite intrigued!

Bonnie – I didn’t see that, but my cup was green. I’ll have to use a white one next time and look.

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95
drank Cantaloupe & Cream by Butiki Teas
2276 tasting notes

Ahhhh, reunited at last. This is delicious, as I remember. Light, but deliciously creamy with a juicy cantaloupe flavour and wonderful lingering aftertaste of white tea and creamy cantaloupe. This is an absolute must-try for melon lovers.

Ohh… my cup’s gone already :( Guess I better go re-steep… good thing I have a glorious 2 oz. of this one now :D

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Good isn’t it! Butiki is now my favorite flavor maker. You can’t say Verdant creates flavors but is masterful at alchemy blends. I could live happily with these two companies and my local tea house I’m sure and be spoiled!

Azzrian

This stuff is so perfect! LOVE IT!

Kittenna

Yes, Butiki’s flavoured teas seem to be very well done. Any flavoured tea that lasts through multiple infusions well gets high points from me! I have two others sitting here to review as soon as I stop going through notices :D

And yeah Bonnie – Verdant has blends that accentuate natural flavours in the tea, not flavoured teas. Different and delicious!

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78
drank Grape Oolong by Butiki Teas
2276 tasting notes

So guess what greeted me when I came downstairs this morning…… my huge Butiki order had arrived bright and early!! It’s seriously some sort of miracle – she sent it out on Friday, there was a national holiday in Canada on Monday, yet I still managed to get it on Wednesday. Unbelievable (well…. except that I’m totally drinking this tea right now!)

So on with the review!

The brewed tea smells like a delightful combination of buttery oolong and sweet concord grape juice, although the grape is fairly subtle. Taste-wise it’s subtly grapey with a lovely oolong aftertaste. Upon a few sips, both flavours strengthen quite nicely. The grape definitely does not overpower the delicate flavour of the oolong, which is exactly the way I like it! Not sure I’ve ever met a tea that so accurately tastes like it is supposed to (except perhaps for Cantaloupe & Cream) – my problem with most flavoured oolongs is a lack of oolong flavour, or at least aftertaste, which kind of defeats the purpose of using an oolong base, for me. So big, big points for that, and now I’m super excited to try the Strawberry Oolong as well! That will have to wait for a while though – so many other things!

(Side note: as I have been swallowing this tea, I noticed that my throat is sore! Not scratchy-sore, but lump-in-throat sore, which is sometimes a precursor to sickness (or the result of crying, but no tears yet for me today, so it isn’t that). Really hoping I’m not headed for a cold…)

ETA: Second infusion (175F/4:15) is pretty much the same. Yum. Glad the grape flavour is lingering through this infusion.

ETA again: Third infusion (175-180/~4min) still has grape flavour!! And oolong, but that’s perhaps disappearing a bit more. I used about half the water for this infusion.

ETA: Fourth infusion (175-180/infinite) is grapey and has some astringency (not surprising). I think this one can get to four good infusions, as long as the leaves are removed a touch sooner… they have been floating around in my cup for about an hour – oops! Oolonginess very limited in this infusion, sadly.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

Hope you stay well!

Indigobloom

maybe put some honey and ginger in your next tea… fingers crossed for you not getting sick!

Kittenna

Hmm, I seem to be feeling better now. I’d wonder about a reaction to a tea, but I’m drinking multiple re-steeps of all three I had earlier, so that’s pretty unlikely. Oh well!! This is a good thing! :D

CelebriTEA

Nice to know I can possibly get four infusions from this ;-)

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Bio

I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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